9 November 2007

FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) is devoting its 2008 programme to one concept: Human Futures. Internationally renowned artists, including Orlan, Al and Al, Zbigniew Oksiuta and Pipilotti Rist, will exhibit new commissions and existing work alongside events, workshops, discussions and debates designed to challenge our idea of the world around us and encourage us to develop a vision of the world we want to live in. The Human Futures programme at FACT provides an opportunity to assess the fundamental changes coming our way in how we think about our bodies and our environment in what is an increasingly digitally networked society.

Human Futures is divided into three key areas; My Body, My Mind and My World. Linked to each strand is a major exhibition, special screenings, public talks and practical workshops. There are four key questions we want everybody to think about: Who Am I? Who Are You? How will technology affect human experience and awareness? What is the role of art and creative technology in shaping human futures?

Towards the end of 2008, a publication and symposium will draw together a whole year of events and community engagement considering the Human Futures questions. The year at FACT closes with the focus on young people, the hope and guardians of our human futures; their games may be virtual today, but could be our reality tomorrow.

My Body: The biological environment and our relationship to the body

sk-interfaces (01 February - 30 March 2008) launches FACT's Human Futures programme exploring the idea of skin as a technological interface. The first exhibition of its kind in the UK, sk-interfaces includes the work of artists that use biology as a material for art and new commissions from artists including the legendary Orlan and award winning Polish artist and architect Zbigniew Oksiuta. International curator Jens Hauser has devised a concept that highlights the research potential of art transforming FACT's exhibition spaces into a hybrid lab / art space where visitors will experience an engaging, critical and thought-provoking approach to how current technologies are changing our perceptions of the body and bridging the gap between science and art. A fully illustrated publication presenting the theoretical background for the works on view will accompany the exhibition: A conference discussing the issues will be held 08 - 09 February 2008.

FACT's Young People's programme will feed into this strand of the Human Futures programme with an ongoing research project called Virtual Lives. FACT, alongside other Northwest organisations FOLLY and Cornerhouse, is working with young people in a research project aiming to develop a better understanding of the new media technologies used by young people today.

My Mind: The digital environment and our relationship to artificial life

In their first major UK exhibition, AL and AL (18 April - 08 June 2008) premiere a new commission designed to transport you into a virtual reality. Renowned and respected for their work with blue screen computer generated video, AL and AL's new work, developed through an artists' residency at Edge Hill station in partnership with Metal, is inspired by Liverpool's unique society, history and politics. The exhibition will also be an opportunity for audiences to see two earlier works originally commissioned for television.

During this exhibition, FACT and Picturehouse present Special Effects: On the Edge of Reality, a programme of films and events celebrating developments in special effects and computer generated images in film. Two feature films, created by the winners of Young Liverpool Film Night 2007, will receive their premiere. The films have been made possible by a grant from First Light Movies.

My World: The physical world and our relationship to the natural and built environment

One of Europe's leading contemporary artists, Pipilotti Rist (27 June - 31 August 2008) explores the world and our relationship with our environment to address the third element of the Human Futures programme. Famed for her stunning sculptural video installations that are often presented in unusual locations, the exhibition will traverse the natural to the industrial world.

With the UK premiere of Gravity, Be My Friend and new elements designed especially for FACT, Rist will give UK audiences her individual interpretation of self-invention and through a mix of fantasy and humour suggest new rules for how humans can live together.

FACT's pioneering web-casting project tenantspin, supported by Arena Housing, will take a leading role during 2008's European Capital of Culture celebrations. Adding their voice to the debate on art and life in Liverpool, tenantspin become Cultural Commentators in the Community in January, becoming the voice of the city's residents. Throughout the year, tenantspin's development into north Liverpool continues with the launch of Electric Blanket, a new commission drawing communities and artists together through creative technologies.